Tomasetti and Vogelstein recently published an analysis that suggests the variation in the number of stem cell divisions leads to cancer incidence rates that are higher for tissues with relatively greater numbers of divisions. They recently posted a follow-up which attempts to address some of the counterarguments to their results. Acting on the premise that their work is correct or at least "in the right direction", are there labs or drug companies working on gene therapies that attempt to improve DNA polymerase fidelity (even in model organisms), as a means to one day perhaps reduce cancer incidence in higher-risk tissues? While it is easy through mutagenesis to worsen fidelity rates and increase cancer rates (as has been demo'ed in mice, say) can this aspect be engineered to be improved — that is, what biochemical aspects of (human) DNA polymerase have evolved to control its fidelity rate such that it might be possible to improve upon it?
Family legend has it that our ancestors were Separdic Jews who fled Spain for Italy during the inquisition. My great-grandparents definitely came to Ellis Island from Italy, but they are as far back as we can trace. I am interested in seeing if this is true. I need help figuring out who should get tested and what test they should take. Family tree details inside. [more inside]
Which of the several commercial DNA ancestry tests would be the best for a 44 year old man trying to find his African American relatives and ancestry. The man is adopted, his biological mother is white. He's met her but she remembers few details about his African American biological father, not enough to make him findable. He is hoping that a DNA test might help him to find out more about his father and his father's family.
For years, I've assumed I was 1/32nd Native American. I've seen a picture of my great-great-grandmother, who's clearly part Native American. The story was always that she was half. That would make my great-grandfather a quarter, my grandmother 1/8th, my mom 1/16th and me 1/32nd. Except that when I look at 23andme results, there's no indication of that in my ancestry composition. Native American comes in at 0.0%. Is there a chance my results could be off?
My relative wants to take a 23andMe DNA test, but he has a heart and a kidney transplant (from 5 years ago). I have read about the possibility of chimerism (which I understand to be the presence of two sets of cells) in transplant recipients, and I am wondering if such a condition would affect the saliva-based DNA testing of 23andMe? And also, how common is this condition in transplant patients? Is there only really a pretty small chance that this will affect his test?
Consider this hypothetical scenario: My father is dead, as are both his parents. There are no samples from any of my direct paternal ancestors. The only source of DNA from my father's side of the family is from three of my father's living siblings. Using those samples, can DNA testing prove (to the satisfaction of the courts) that I am my father's child, and not simply someone probably related to the family somehow? [more inside]
As a Christmas present, I bought my 10-year-old daughter a 23 and Me kit. Shortly after it arrived, I received an email stating they would no longer provide health-related information and offering a refund. Should I take the refund (which would inactivate the kit) or go ahead with it? [more inside]
I am a male. I am the family historian. In an effort to fine-tune my own research into my maternal grandfather's family (the "Jones"), I have my male first cousin take a Y-DNA test, since he has the "Jones" Y-Chromosome (I have my Dad's Y chromosome). Lo and behold, the test comes back with a perfect match, and a predicted Most Recent Common Ancestor within 3 generations. I have researched back farther than that and I know all of their names. None of the last names match. My occupation doesn't take me anywhere near genetics... but I am assuming that a Y DNA match with a MRCA that close should have the same surname for his male ancestor, correct? Except if there's been adoption or infidelity or rape, correct? I sent the results to my cousin, prior to the lightbulb going off over my head. He knows a lot less about this than I do. He hasn't called me yet, but what if he does? Should I just let sleeping dogs lie? Ugh!
It seems that we will likely be able to grow new organs or bodies in the future. I would like to save my own DNA while i'm still young and healthy, so that I can have a less degraded blueprint available when I need it. I am having a hard time making sense of the options available to me; does anyone have any knowledge (academic, anecdotal, or personal) that would be useful here? Thanks in advance, dgstieber.
I'm working on a new book and I need to name a genome. I can't handwave it-- while the book is SF, I don't want people in the know to be able to look at it like people look at Law & Order address (ie, nobody from New York would ever think that's a real address. Nobody in science would ever think that's a real genome.) [more inside]
I'm trying to determine whether my dad is really my dad. I have my DNA raw data and my dad's raw data from 23andme, but results are not yet calculated for relatives. [more inside]
Dear MetaFilter, I am new to this forum and this is my first post, hi! I am in a bit of a pickle about a work project, and hope that I may be able to get some help by some fellow sciencey people. The science forums are rarely read and badly out of date, or I would have posted at one of those. I have a deadline for a miRNA PCR experiment, and I have already run the cDNA and PCR for the miRNA. All I have to do is run the miRNA on a gel. The problem: We don't have acrylamide! And neither does our neighboring lab. We only have Agarose with which to make gels, which is only for large fragments, not small miRNA fragments of 20-40 bp. The question: As the percentage of agarose in the gel goes higher, the smaller the size of the base pairs are that can be measured. Could I increase this percentage enough to work for miRNA? Out of respect for the community that doesn't like line returns, I have entered the specifics of this post in the Extended Explanation box, because to me, this post reads like a jumble of nonsense without some kind of organization. [more inside]
I recently had my DNA analyzed by 23andme, and now a friend wants to write about my results as part of a story in a popular national magazine. Normally I'd be fine with this, but I have some concerns about future insurance effects, especially considering one of the results. What, if any, is the real danger in having my name being used with my real results? [more inside]
How can you tell the physical and chemical structure of a nucleic acid based on a sample's proportions of nucleotides? [more inside]
I want to better understand my body. So, I want data - baseline data. Going to sign up for 23andMe, and I'd also like to get some imaging done. In particular, I'd like an MRI of my body (head and torso) and any other medical diagnostics I can buy. I'm interested in your suggestions for cheap medical imaging, and also for your suggestions on other ways to collect hard data about my body and its condition. [more inside]
I want to clone my cat. [more inside]
My father's grandfather was adopted with very little paperwork or evidence trail as to his biological origins. Earlier this year, my father's uncle got his DNA tested. Unfortunately, the closest Y-DNA relative we've isolated from the tests is 13 generations back. But, I have a related question: All of the matches, through multiple services (having manually entered the data into other services) have a wide variety of non-repeating last names. Given that Y-DNA matches father-to-son, wouldn't there be at least some names repeating? [more inside]
There was an article/NPR story from a couple years ago that described findings that we incorporate ALL things we take in into our bodies. [more inside]
One of my sperm contains 37.5MB of DNA information in it. Does every single one of my sperm have the very same identical 37.5MB of information? [more inside]
Was reading about microchips that are designed to allow a few mistakes (known as 'Sloppy Chips'), and pondering equivalent kinds of 'coding' errors and entropy in biological systems. Can a fair comparison be made between the two? [more inside]
How complete are DNA tests at determining ethnic / racial background? [more inside]
Could DNA testing theoretically be employed to determine how many distinct chickens found their way into one Chicken McNugget? [more inside]
Looking for an awesome primer on genetics! It should start somewhere around the highschool level, and continue through to some college-level material. Bonus points if it touches on some recent developments and research. Oh! And readability is key. [more inside]
Which of my genes should I have sequenced, mostly for an art project? [more inside]
Okay - I admit I didn't pay as much attention in biology class as I should have. Can someone tell me whether or not animal products such as milk and honey contain significant amounts of DNA? I have a friend who thinks people who talk about eating food that's "free of chemicals" are hysterical, because of course all food is made up of chemicals. But she takes it a step farther and asks if they've tried DNA-free food as well, which brings me to my point. I suggested things like milk and honey, which are secreted by animals, might by considered DNA-free. Her reaction was shock and dismay that I was ignorant of the (to her) common knowledge that those things do, in fact, contain DNA. I mean, I'll buy that maybe they contain some stray particles of DNA - like (I believe) our saliva does, but are they, or are they not, made of DNA?
Some heavy shit went down this week and I've become the unwilling party to a new family secret. I want to tell one or two trusted family members because it affects them to a lesser degree. Can people with calmer heads and more perspective help me sort through this and figure out the best line to take? (Caution: longwinded) [more inside]
DNA question plus *Gross-out alert* If you don't like real live scabs from injuries, read no further. It won't get any better. I'm guessing that I've thinned the clicking herd... [more inside]
How common is human chimerism of the sort described in this Boing Boing post? What implications does the existence of chimerism have for DNA testing, especially with respect to the criminal justice system? Does it pose a practical limit on the usefulness of DNA evidence, or just a theoretical one? Has chimerism come up in any cases, or been considered as a problem in legal scholarship?
Please point me to scientific resources/articles either in support of or refuting the "biblical" claim that all humans are descendants of a single pair of male and female (i.e. Adam and Eve) [more inside]
While there was this discussion a year ago, I am really interested in tracking down something about family history [more inside]
Amateur coder looking to make a "toy" Neural Net and also genetic/phenotypic DNA evolution/breeding system for a "virtual pet" game. Any tools that can make this approachable for me, preferably in Python? [more inside]
How dependable are avuncular DNA test for determining paternity. [more inside]
I am embroiled in a paternity conundrum. Several questions enclosed. [more inside]
Research for a sci-fi story: Is it theoretically possible to genetically modify a feotus in vitro to such an extent that the feotus effectively becomes a clone of the father? [more inside]
If you (a human) were cloned, would your clone look exactly like you? [more inside]
I'm designing a series of DNA infographics and would like to know what sorts of information would be the most ... well, informative. [more inside]
"The DNA of humans and chimps is 98.4% identical." I've read that several places. I've also read "The DNA of all living things is 90% identical" and "The DNA of humans and lettuce is 16% identical." How could I find out which of those last two statements is correct? Or is the problem that I don't understand which part of the DNA is being referred to? (Frankly, I'm not that clear on DNA in the first place - I'd just like the right number.)
Help me find a video/article about a race experiment. [more inside]
How can I determine, with access to limited biological data, if my father is not who I thought he was? [more inside]
Has there been any critical recognition of the similarity of the sculptures of Jachin and Boaz from Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3 to important helical structures (the DNA helix and the alpha helix) from molecular biology? [more inside]
Wondering if anyone here has had a Genealogical DNA test for purposes of learning more about your distant (ie. not recent/paternity) ancestors. I have questions about the differences (price, service, thoroughness) of the various companies offering this service, the type of data that different tests can produce, and ways this data can be (constructively) interpreted. [more inside]
How can I get a digital copy of my own DNA? How much will it cost? Is the cost likely to become reasonable any time soon? [more inside]
I've finally decided to learn about how DNA (by reading Molecular Biology Made Fun And Simple), and I have a question about chromatin. The pictures you see of chromosomes are all taken when chromosomes have packed themselves into a visible structure to allow them to move around during Metaphase. If I have stranded, intact chromosomes in a test tube, can I force them to pack themselves into the Metaphase configuration? If so, how?
Are commercial genetic DNA testing companies worth the price tag? [more inside]
Would it be worthwhile to preserve a sample of my parents' DNA, with their permission, in case I ever need it for genetic testing of myself or my family? [more inside]
Is there such a thing as an 'invisible' virus - have biologists stumbled across any 'diseases' that have no noticeable symptoms?
Are there any studies, past or present, devoted to the idea of deriving precise time of either conception or birth from DNA analysis? For conception, I can imagine a science fiction author describing a rhythmic pattern or pulse emitted by something in the DNA whose beats are somehow recorded somewhere, like the veritable second hand of a clock. For birth time I'm a little fuzzier on the possibilities, but one idea that occurred to me was the studying the effects of direct light (sun or artificial) on a baby's chromosomes when exposed for the first time (not counting any rays that might penetrate the womb through the mother). There is also the telomere clock to consider, about which I know very little.
Gag gift for the head of a major genetics department, any ideas? [more inside]
I need solid scientific evidence that thought can change matter - how consciousness effects DNA structure, patterns and ultimately reality. Charts, studies, videos, all is welcome as a way of viewing and understanding how the mind's energy works in relation to physical matter. Thank you so much.
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